Tag Archives: lessons

The Almost Post-Graduate Checklist

Happy Monday…or not, I usually feel like this on Monday:

But today? Today I am fired up because I have new post for you and I am so psyched to get your feedback. As many of you are making the final steps towards your last few weeks as a university student, you probably have many emotions: happiness, fear, poverty (which may or may not be a real emotion), hunger and sleep deprivation (once again, maybe not an emotion). BUT never fear, I have some blogging caffeine to send your way!

This is the first post in my “getting you hired after you graduate” series (that name is a work in progress) and it’s a quick, down and dirty checklist of items that YOU need to make sure you have in order for your post-graduate hiring push.

As I came upon the final weeks before my graduation, I had a job in hand (well, a paid internship), but that didn’t stop me from making sure my ducks were in a row – social media, resume & online presence – I wanted to make sure if ANYBODY even thought about hiring me, I would be ready. Below are a few items (and resources) for YOUR “Hire Me NOW! Almost Post-Graduate Checklist”:

  1. Social Media: Are you social media-ready for a snooping hiring manager? According to a 2012 study by CareerBuilder, some 38% of hiring managers said they screened candidates via social media. So please make sure you’re not trashing employers, showing excessive bad behaviour, or saying incendiary things that will make a hiring manager think twice. Good rule of thumb is: “would I say this in front of my nan?” HOWEVER, social media is also a chance to show HOW good of a candidate you are; I am a huge advocate for having a professional Twitter handle and a Linkedin page where you can list accomplishments, past projects, your skills, jobs and showcase thought leadership in your field. As you’re nearing the end, do a Social Media audit and make sure you’re in good shape
  2. Resume: With the host of social media sites and other ways to network, we sometimes forget that the little, modest resume is still your best bet to get hired. Take some time over the next few weeks to really give your resume a hard look. Have a professor, or the career center at your Uni also look it over – you should include ALL relevant experience, including any school projects that were in PR/social media, related job experience (internships to the TOP!) and even communications courses. Hiring managers know that as an entry-level pro, you’re not going to have a TON of experience, but you can still polish it up and make it shine. Check out this great post from NYC PR Girls for more on that winning entry-level PR resume.
  3. Online Presence: I CANNOT stress this enough! In this day and age, in PR and social media, you need to have an online presence. Of course, many will say you don’t have to have one, but I’m here to tell you:

    You NEED to have an online presence. Whether it be centered around social media, an About.me page, an entire blog, an online portfolio or even ONE page with your resume and a few links…well, I think you get it. Plus, having a polished online presence will shoot your light years above the competition – it will show that you can write, are strategically thinking and you understand the importance of image and content curation (three VERY important things in PR). A domain name is less than $20 per year, a WordPress blog is even cheaper…even Tumblr can be a good site to use. Use your online space to advertise yourself, write great content or house your portfolio.

Hopefully, this has been an educational and thought-provoking post and a great way to kick off this little mini-series. Graduation is coming up on you faster than you realize and if you get ready now, you’ll have a better chance to land that dream job.

If you have any questions or just want to pop in and say hello, the comment section (or the contact page or my Twitter) is always open. Until then…

XOXOXO,
Jess_AsPRing

Advertisements

I’m BACK…OR 5 Lessons I’ve Learned as an Account Coordinator

Hey there! Did you miss me? You probs did, it’s ok to admit it. I missed you too. But, we need to get down to business: where have I been? Still working as an AC here in New York (which is freezing, BTW).

So, on to what’s really real about this blog post: what have I learned as Account Coordinator? Well, sit yourself down and I will tell you a thing:

  1. I cannot stress how important ORGANIZATION is: Seriously, you guys, organization is something I struggle with every day and when I was in university or reading blogs and they kept talking about organization I was like, “OMG who cares?” but like, everybody cares. And once you’re on 3 (or more) accounts, juggling agendas, reports, coverage, and pitching and securing opportunities? You’ll care, too.
  2. Take ownership of your tasks: What does this mean? Well, let’s say that you are in charge of ALL client agendas (which you probably will be), make them yours. Let your team know that you’ve got them and rock those agendas. The further up you move, the more you will have to take OWNERSHIP of things, so learn this now.
  3. Volunteer to take on additional projects, but don’t take on more than you can handle: Hey, I get it, you want to show people that you are proactive and up for a challenge. BUT if it gets in the way of doing your assigned duties, it kind of negates the desired effect. Make sure you have your job down and then reach for another project
  4. It is OK to be lost/stuck/overwhelmed/whatever: This is a tough business, and contrary to what Kelli Cutrone says, you can always be tough and not ask for help. ASK FOR HELP. Wait, let me repeat that: ASK FOR HELP. If your day is too packed, you don’t know where to start on a new project or you are just plum on your last string, then ask. Let it be known that you need more support. Because keeping your mouth closed won’t help in the end, trust me
  5. The biggest lesson I learned? Don’t every give up! Can I be honest with you? December was a very rough month for me; lots of client expectations, lots of long hours and I honestly felt like I was at the end of my rope. But I was honest with my supervisors and asked for additional support, and at the end of the day I pushed through and did not just throw my hands up. It will get better, I promise!

Well, that’s it in what seems to be the LONGEST post ever -_- Have you learned any lessons in your tenure at your new job? Let me know!

In other exciting news, I am going to sit down and write a few posts on landing your first PR job, because well, I guess I’ve done it and may know a thing or two…look out for it!

XOXO,

Jess_AsPRing

Check it out: Interview with Jenelle Hamilton, The Publicist

Hello PR peeps, I’m still here! I had a rough week last week and I threw in the towel, but the towel got washed and was thrown right back to me, so I’m here!

Jenelle Hamilton, The Publicist

Today I have a special treat for you! I spoke with Jenelle Hamilton, the Publicist a few days ago and she was nice enough to give me some great advice and an interview that I want to share with my readers!

**INSPIRATION ALERT** If you’re anything like me (young, and determined), you WILL be inspired by Jenelle’s words…so let’s get started:

Where did you go to school? I went to school in the UK, at the University of Greenwich, I studied communications.

How did you get started? My first job out of college was at a non-profit where I learned all the basics of PR—writing press releases, media pitching, etc. Eventually, I wanted to combine my love of PR and fashion (Miss Hamilton worked at Prada on the weekends through school…trés chic) and went to work for Karla Otto, an international fashion PR agency. I worked there for 3 years and wanted to move into beauty, so I moved to New York 7 years ago and got a job!

How did you get into freelancing? I worked in beauty for awhile and then found that I got bored and wanted to do my own thing; so I freelanced on the beauty side, but I returned to an agency after awhile and then I decided go out on my own and have been doing it for two and half to three years.

What is your biggest accomplishment thus far of your career? Landing Bob Mackie as a client—he’s a living legend and a true celebrity designer. They found me to work on a project, but then I was able to stay on as a global PR director. The other accomplishment was being on E! Television’s docuseries, Playing with Fire. I’m not an actress and I don’t want to be famous, but it was great for my brand.

Favourite part of the job? Every single day is different, I have a celebrity charity client, I have Bob Mackie; I also have hair and beauty client, and everything in between. I have so many different things going on; it just depends on what comes through my email that day. I learned a long time ago, I can’t be in a 9-5 job, every single day.

Least favourite part of the job? I hate going to meetings; I like to schedule conference calls as much as possible, especially with the new technology, I think it’s more efficient than having so many face-to-face meetings.

What do you think sets candidates apart in the entry-level job hunt? Show that you are going to work hard; I think this younger generation has shown that it is entitled and that they just want to do the glam side of PR; but I don’t do that every day, most of work is writing and behind the scenes stuff. Show that you are driven and are willing to work hard and being proactive. Even if you aren’t working, keep doing professional things and show that they are willing to work. That will set you apart.

What advice do you have for someone in terms of interning for free? I interned for free and worked 7 days a week; I worked Monday through Saturday and then I worked at an agency 1 day a week, and even had a second job!—if you want something you have to work for it and make sacrifices. Think long term and don’t think about now, think about the big picture. How bad do you want it?

What is one piece of advice you have for aspiring PR professionals? You can’t be shy; you have to be a performer. That’s why I created “Jenelle the publicist” because it’s still me, it’s just a more outgoing me. I think you have to be fun; you have to be high energy and be able to turn it on. Be able to tap into your performer.

What are key lessons you have learned in your career? There are a lot of ups and downs in this business, and some days you are going to want to give u. But if you’re passionate, you have to keep going. People don’t realize ow much work is involved in running their own business, and how much commitment is involved. They look at me and say, “Look at Jenelle, she’s so successful” but they haven’t seen the blood, sweat and tears that went into my business.

Is she amazing or what?! If you want to keep following Jenelle, then you can find her on her website, Facebook, Youtube, Linkedin, Instagram and Twitter

As you can see, Miss Hamilton had oodles of advice to offer and I can definitely say that speaking with her really lifted me up and got me excited and thinking about MY next steps.

I can’t wait to continue sharing this journey with you all and maybe some more interview? We’ll see!

Until next time!

XOXO, Jess AsPRing

Jargon…It’s Important To Know Some!

Happy Thursday people! I am having a particularly stressful week (school started and a whole lot of other stuff, but I don’t want to bore you!) and when I am having these kinds of weeks, I usually turn to my fave blogs and websites to inspire me and make me laugh. One such website is 99 Problems But a Pitch Ain’t One and one thing they usually have is the “Jargon Jar”, a fun feature that gives you quirky phrases that to the outside world make NO sense, but to us PR pros (aspiring and veteran) are like a second language!

Belongs to 99 Problems But a Pitch ain’t One

Don’t know any jargon? That’s okay, I’ll give you some of the basics and then we can revisit it at a later date, so here is the jargon you need to know!

Bio This is short for “biography”, used for CEOs, entertainers, engineers…your clients, basically. If you represent a creative personality, then you will most definitely have a bio for them. Within the corporate, consumer, healthcare and tech industries only the head honchos get bios.
Buzz Buzz is basically creating conversations for your client; this is really the bare bones of PR, you want people talking about your client and their work. PR pros want to keep creating buzz constantly, that’s why we get paid!
Demo This is short for, “demonstration” which happens in all aspects of PR. Companies demo their product to journalists, influencers, select consumers, and members of their target demographic. Demos are good because they give companies the chance to see how their product or service will be received. It is also a way to get coverage, because journalists will more than likely write about their experience and review the product/service
Ed Cal Short for “editorial calendar”, outlets publish these calendars around October-December that give an overview of stories, special issues and what will be in their publication for the entire upcoming year. Lots of publicists use ed cals to help pitch stories, because we know in advance what the journalists will be looking for.
Feature A feature is usually a longer article, a front page or a featured article. It’s more prominent than a “hit” or regular coverage
Hit A hit is anytime your client is covered, same thing as “coverage”
Launch When a product or service is opened, think of a rocket launch, it’s being “launched” into the atmoshphere (lol)
Lead Time Lead time is the amount of time editors need to work on on a story to publication. Lead times can be anywhere from 2 weeks to 3 months! The general rule of thumb is 3-5 months for national publications (long lead), 1-2 months for smaller mags and regionals and weeklies (short lead) and less than a month or a few days for dailies and websites. Lead times are über important because even if you have an amazing story, if you don’t get it to the journalist/editor in enough time, it won’t go anywhere
Pitch The almighty pitch is a story angle or idea that you offer to members of the media in order to secure coverage/hits/features
Pub Short for “publication” and you know what that is…

Well, I hope you enjoyed this short list of jargon that I’ve put together for you. Did it help? Let me know and I can publish another list! Until next time.

XOXOXOX, Jess AsPRing

My first week in fashion and my final thoughts on Tumblr…

PR Couture’s Crosby Nick’s fantastic book on breaking into Fashion PR

Happy Saturday peeps! I haven’t done a Saturday post in ages, but I promised that I would give you some updates about my foray in fashion, so here I am. Also, I wanted to give you my final “nay” or “say” on Tumblr.

First things first: Fashion PR. I recently moved from a large PR agency in the tech division to a super boutique agency in fashion and accessories and my first week is over and…(drumroll please)…I LOVE IT! There’s a sample room (not like Vogue’s or anything, but still awesome), the girls are fun and I can really tell that with a little push, I can get on some good projects and get some coverage.

Cons: hmm…the biggest con I’ve had so far is that I’m loving fashion so much, I’m starting to sway on my ultimate goal of travel and hospitality PR. I have always had my mind on working in travel in some form (even when I was going to be a barrister, I was going into maritime law because they got to travel!), but fashion people travel and fashion has always been a soft spot for me. Also, boutique agencies mean less amenities, like I don’t get my own MacBook or scheduled training sessions.

Over all, this has been a great experience thusfar and I think I am going to try and intern the last 6 months I’m in the Bay Area and learn as much as possible.

Next item of business, Tumblr. Do you remember this post? I joined Tumblr (at Jessaspring.tumblr.com) and I said in a month or so, I’d report back. Well, we’re at the “or so” part and here’s what I think: Tumblr is fantastic and it’s very good for visual people, such as fashion designers and bloggers, artists, etc. but for little ‘ol PR-lovin’ me? Not so much.

I already have a blog (in case you haven’t noticed) and Tumblr is just another blogging site. I don’t think I’m going to delete the account, because some of fave people have Tumblrs, such as Alexis Rodriguez from the PR Closet and the DKNY PR Girl, but I won’t be updating regularly and I don’t think I want it to represent my overall “brand”. Also, between you and me, there are A LOT of NSFW (Not Suitable for Work) items on Tumblr!

That’s all I’ve got for today, it’s such a gorgeous day, I’m heading outside to enjoy it, ciao bellas!

XOXOXOXO, Jess_AsPRing

The world MIGHT end on Friday…but in case it doesn’t: SYNTK

The big and scary Mayan Calendar

Happy “maybe our last Monday on Earth” fellow PR peeps! As you may or may not know, the world is set to end this upcoming Friday, December 21st as foretold by an old Mayan wives tail (although NASA took the time to debunk said rumours in their official BLOG, who knew they had a blog?!) SO you’ve got two choices:

  1. Hunker down in your new doomsday shed, with lots of beans, batteries and Spam (because who doesn’t love canned meat?!)
  2. OR you can rock it out this Friday and prepare for yet ANOTHER Monday in your quest to dominate the PR world and listen to this knowledge I’m about to kick your way.

Oh, you’re going to do #2? Good choice. So, today’s “SYNTK” is pretty quick and easy, there are only TWO terms: briefings and coverage. I’m going to give you the quick, nitty gritty on these two very important terms:

Briefings: Briefings are like interviews, well they kind of ARE interviews. When a product is released or a journalist agrees to cover your client or your event, usually a “briefing” is involved. This is where the journalist and your spokesperson (not necessarily a traditional spokesperson, but somebody chosen from your company that can speak on the subject of the interview, from the CEO to an engineer) talk, the journalist asks a lot of questions and the spokesperson answers them. How does the spokesperson know what to say? YOU, the PR pro, tell them! This is one of the fundamental job duties of a PR pro: media training. It is usually your job to make sure the client is polished and ready for the media. On of the ways we do that is the all-important briefing sheet, a briefing sheet is a document created by the PR team with pertinent information about the briefing, it usually contains:

-Date and time of the inteview
-Publication and journalist’s name and background info, recent stories
-Points of interest that the journalist will want to go over
-And any other info that may be useful to your spokesperson

The briefing sheet is a very important part of your PR arsenal and a good briefing sheet can be the deciding factor between a great interview and a lackluster one. Want to see an example of a briefing sheet? PRTini has got a great example and over at Crenshaw Communications they have an article dedicated to putting together a good briefing book (the same thing). A good briefing can only lead to ONE thing:

COVERAGE!!!! Coverage is the bread and butter of the PR pro, it’s what we spend hours pitching for, days and weeks prepping for. Coverage is anytime you get your client in a publication or on TV or on the radio. It is a super important part  of our lives. Clients expect you to get coverage and they expect it to be good. So what’s the difference between PR coverage and advertisements? Simple, one if paid for (advertisement) and the other is gained (PR) and we work hard to get that coverage. Some coverage is put together in a matter of days, such as with internet outlets and some coverage takes MONTHS to see, like for a glossy magazine. Each pub has different lead times (the time you need to give them before they actually publish the story, usually between a few days to a few months, depending on the type if publication) and it is up to you to make sure you get your story in front of the right person in enough time to make the issue. I have some of my coverage here on the blog, under the “coverage/writing samples” tab, take a look!

Well, that’s it for today, although it was short, today’s SYNTK included two very important terms that are good for you to know in your budding PR career. In case the world ends before we chat again: it was nice knowing ya! In case it doesn’t, tune in next time

XOXOXO, Jess AsPRing